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A baby, Skype and water research partnership with Israel
Date:7/20/2010

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- A year ago, Sharon Walker, an associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering at the UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering, flew to Israel with support from a Fulbright fellowship to study water quality and sustainability issues in a similarly arid environment.

She returned last month with a a deep familiarity with Skype, a baby daughter and a grant to develop a collaborative program on water sustainability with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

Her daughter, Ma'ayan, is now five months old. She spent 10 hours a week on Skype communicating with her six doctoral students, including one who likely will be going to Israel in December. And the $147,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture kicked off last week with an Israeli scholar's visit to UCR.

In the coming years, Walker, the John Babbage Chair in Environmental Engineering at UCR, hopes research and exchanges between UCR and Ben-Gurion faculty and graduate students will help the U.S. follow Israel's lead in sustainable water use.

With co-principal director Moshe Herzberg of Ben-Gurion, Walker will establish an international, interdisciplinary research and education collaboration with the goal of developing innovative approaches to water management for agricultural uses, especially in desert areas.

The project, "Water Sustainability in Desert Agriculture: Enhancing relationships with global competency of graduate students and faculty through collaboration with Israel," has three components:

  • Hands-on experience with Israel's water management and agricultural research in short visits for faculty and extended visits for students.

  • Shared materials for undergraduate and graduate course development to enhance the international content of existing courses at UCR and Ben-Gurion.

  • Dissemination of
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Contact: Sean Nealon
sean.nealon@ucr.edu
951-827-1287
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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